GOPIO-CT joins with City of Stamford to celebrate India’s Independence Day

Indians everywhere commemorate the country's independence from British rule, a long, non-violent struggle headed by Mahatma Gandhi, on August 15th. In Stamford, CT, Mayor David Martin hosted the 73rd Indian Independence celebration at the Stamford Government Center. The Connecticut Chapter of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO-CT) organized the event on Saturday, August 17th. Consul Vipul Mesariya from the Indian Consulate was the chief guest who delivered the Independence Day message emphasizing the importance of India's independence and its adoption of democracy. He also complimented the role played by GOPIO and the Indian American community in cementing better Us-India relations.

The program began with the singing of a patriotic song, followed by a welcome address given by GOPIO-CT President Anita Bhat who gave an account of what GOPIO-CT is doing for the community and the local society. Anita described the many flagship events the organization organizes every year.

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“Our mission at GOPIO-CT is to be active participants in the local community through involvement in community events and local politics, and by providing services to the Indian community at large here in Connecticut.

Anita then introduced Stamford Mayor David Martin. Mayor Martin issued a proclamation and spoke on the diversity of the City of Stamford and said it enriched the whole city. Others to speak at the event included Connecticut Attorney General William Tong and State Senator Carlo Leone, both congratulating the community for its success and thanking for its contribution to Connecticut.

In his proclamation Mayor Martin said that the Indian Independence was marked largely by non-violent resistance and civil disobedience and the Independence Day is celebrated by the Indian Diaspora worldwide. The proclamation further noted that Stamford city will honor Indian community which is an integral part of city’s diversity, success and great future.

After remarks by the honored dignitaries, brief entertainment of music, presenting a community service award and recognizing high school graduates everyone went to the street for the flag hoisting.

Independence Day Liberty Award 2019 Recipient for Service to GOPIO-CT and Community Causes was given to Pradeep Govil, who has served as a Board Member and the Executive Vice President of GOPIIO-CT for several years. Pradeep is Program Manager at the World’s largest and successful semiconductor company ASML. He has received over 21 patents and published numerous articles in international journals. Pradeep is an Adjunct Professor at Fairfield University since the early 90’s.

Later in the day, the nearby Mill River Park in Stamford, CT wore a festive look as Indian Americans gathered in large numbers to celebrate India’s 73rd Independence Day with an annual India Festival. Dressed in colorful traditional Indian attire, with melodious music from the popular Bollywood world, dances depicting the wide variety of Indian culture, kite flying, spicy Indian cuisine, colorful booths decorated with Indian dresses and face art.

“The India Festival in Stamford, CT is a tribute to a strong and vibrant Indian-American community that has excelled in almost all areas of life in this adopted nation of ours,” Dr. Thomas Abraham, Founder President and chairman of GOPIO International, who is also a Trustee of GOPIO-CT, said.

The celebration sponsors were First County Bank of Fairfield County and Wadia Associates of New Canaan, CT.

Stamford Mayor David Martin speaking at the India Day Celebration. From l. to r.: GOPIO Chairman Dr. Thomas Abraham, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, Wadia Associate Peter Michalsky, CT. State Senator Carlo Leone, GOPIO-CT Immediate Past President President Shelly Nichani, Indian Consul Vipul Mesariya, First County Bank Vice President Brad Lupinacci and GOPIO-CT President Anita Bhat

GOPIO-CT Officers with Dignitaries at the Indian Independence Day Celebration in Stamford

GOPIO-CT President Anita Bhat recognizing the organizers, from l. to r. Wilson Pottackal, Dr. Thomas Abraham, Fr. Sudhir DeSouza, Bhavna Juneja, Anita Bhat, Ramya Subramanian and Prachi Narayan

Dancers at the India Festival

Dancers at the India Festival